Video: I Can't Resist Yodeling in the Swiss Alps

10/11/2016 04:54 pm ET Updated Oct 12, 2017

We'll do just about anything to give our travelers memorable cultural experiences when they join us on a Rick Steves bus tour. And this passion for creating memories goes way, way back. In my student days, I'd both drive and guide minibus tours -- groups of 7 or 8...nearly all women -- around Europe. I did the same 3,000-mile "Best of Europe" route that I'm doing this month. Once -- I think it was in 1979 -- while driving my group through the Swiss Alps, we approached a Swiss hitchhiker. He was cute, and the women on my bus said, "Pick him up." I said, "Only if he'll teach us to yodel." They agreed. We stopped and I told the man -- whose name was Christoph -- I'd give him a ride on two conditions: 1) He'd be OK sitting with seven American women, and 2) If he would teach us to yodel. Christoph agreed. We gathered around him, and -- arcing his back and as if singing in the towering distant Alps -- he yodeled. We learned...and I've never forgotten. Now, every time I drive that stretch of road in Switzerland, I feel a strong urge to sing the yodel Christoph taught my group so long ago. The other day, I passed it with a big bus loaded with 28 travelers. Unable to resist, I picked up the mic and did the Christoph yodel. (Don't listen to this if you're a music critic!)

(Follow along on my travel blog and on Facebook as I guide the Rick Steves Europe Tours Best of Europe in 21 Days Tour.)

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